I don’t know why I write this. Perhaps I hope someone somewhere, in a better position to enact a positive change in society will take notice and act. I don’t know why I write this…despite the fact I told myself to take a break from any kind of writing. I’m gonna make this racially neutral, so some details will be left out.
Earlier today, I boarded bus with a lady friend of mine. Right beside me was a lady using her iphone and listening to music. Let’s call this lady…Amy since its short and easier to type. Midway through the ride, this elderly gentlemen (I’m gonna nickname him Cancer, as in Brain Cancer) seated infront of her, looked at her and said something along the lines of; “please don’t use your phone near me, the radiation is very strong”. She gave the standard “okay….psychoooo” look and minded her business.
Few stops later, he again says in a louder voice a similar sentence to the same effect. Naturally, the woman replied back in – first terse, then aggressive – tone, that it’s her phone and it’s a public bus: there are tons of people in the bus using phones and that if he was worried about radiation, he should get a taxi. Here, the two parties argued without vulgarities. Cancer explained that google scientists have found that phone radiation can cause Brain Cancer (hence the nickname).
Enter elderly gentleman #2! (lets call him Uncle – as in Old Uncle). Uncle tells them both off that there are noisy, but later directs his comments specifically at Amy. Amy of course, tells Uncle off. Cancer sits down and ignores them both.
Fast forward a few more stops, Amy uses her phone to call someone and starts a conversation in her native tongue. Her conversation is punctuated with swear words. This goes on for awhile more, then Cancer explodes, stands up violently and starts calling Amy a BASTARD! (which is kind of weird since she is a lady). The two parties engage in a long vulgarity filled argument. I had to reposition my body to cover my lady friend just in case. And this point I would like to point out that she’s just a friend….
A guy sitting beside Cancer tells Amy, “nevermind, public” in a bid to calm her down. But he was silent throughout the rest of this sad incident.
As Amy and Cancer argue, enter “gentleman” #3. Lets call him Mofu cause there is no other slang in the English dictionary to describe him. He enters the argument, mumbling at first, then asking Amy to shut up. At this point, he and only he threw in a racist statement. Now, Cancer, Uncle and Mofu are the same race, and Amy being a different race, played the racism card. She challenges Mofu to go to the nearest police station with her to settle it infront of the cops. After some swearing, he agrees. At this point, poor Amy doing most of the yelling, blasting all three guys. Amy was also going on about how Singapore was supposed to be multi-racial yet she was being picked on by three guys of the same race.
As the bus, pulls off the expressway, a huge rush of people rush for the exits. I know Mofu got off the bus. I know Uncle and Amy stayed on. I didn’t see where Cancer went. I got off the bus too since it was my stop. As I walked away, I could her Amy explaining her situation loudly to the bus driver.
And that ends my recount.
I left the races out specifically cause it doesn’t matter what race they were.
I think its easier for me to type this since I didn’t have to act. I wish I had done something. But would I have helped the situation, or made it worse. I did want to help, especially against Mofu cause he threw the racial slur. But he didn’t do anything physical like push her or anything. Even when people left the bus, people gave Amy space and didn’t dare bump into her….
I always knew Singapore had some racial tension (keyword: some) But to see it nearly explode in a public area like this is….disheartening. This may be idealistic of me…but if you are a Singaporean or fuck, a decent human being, lets stop the racism. It’s unfortunate that Uncle and Cancer are the same race, but for Mofu to throw fuel into the fire like that….what a mofu.